Tuesday, April 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Congress uses handy word for weighty matter

stevenson column sig 2

By
From page A8 | November 27, 2012 |

Some of you, fewer and fewer every year, will remember watching Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life.”  If one of the contestants – usually a husband and wife – happened to mention the “secret word” – the duck would drop down with a $50 bill. Unfortunately, I have no $50 bill for the winner, because any of you could figure out the answer with the help of Google.

There’s been a “secret” word that has not become so secret recently, and it’s a word that many of us would not have been familiar with six months. Telling you what it is won’t do you much good in terms of how it’s actually used in Washington, but I’ll give it a try.

First, I’ll give you the various meanings, than you tell me what the key word is. Here we go:

1. “an amount of money equal to the difference between the cap set in the Budget Resolution and the amount actually appropriated . . .”

2. ”In Monday night’s third and final presidential debate on foreign policy, President Obama said the deep cuts to the military that are . . .”

3. “(——–) was never intended to be good fiscal policy. It was never intended to be policy, period.”

4. “The Pentagon is soaking up most of the attention around the looming budget cuts that would take place at the start of the new year . . .”

Do you give up, or perhaps you’ve known it all along. I sort of did, but I was wrong. Here’s a sort-of answer from Google: A sequestration is a fiscal policy procedure adopted by Congress to deal with the federal budget deficit. It’s usage, in fact the word itself, is new, because it first showed up in the recent Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit resolution.

I spend so much time on the word “sequestration” because it seems to be on the lips of every congressman and in the text of every budget document. To see just how common was the usage – and why I didn’t understand the current usage – I turned to the American Heritage dictionary, Fourth Edition. The first meaning for sequester – the preferred, if you will – is “to cause to withdraw into seclusion.” In law, it means seizure of property. Another meaning is seizure of property to insure payment of debts. Sheeesh, I’d have nothing left.

The question I ask, only half-seriously, is when an important, politically charged issue is being discussed, and perhaps voted on, is it a coincidence that Congress uses a key word that seems to obfuscate the subject? For what are they talking about? Only one of the most sensitive topics you could imagine.

Congress is arguing over wither to trim the deficit, first of all, by cutting the budget. And some of the budget cuts would come from entitlements, most likely for those not old enough to receive them yet. If they actually agree to cut Social Security and Medicare, a battle royale will break loose.

Now can you see why the handy word “sequestration” is being used?

Bud Stevenson, a stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • RichNovember 27, 2012 - 11:33 am

    Firstly, I believe all of us regardless of perspective, can agree that the fruitless go-nowhere war needs to be concluded. If were not going to expeditiously and decisely win it, then to hades with it. Secondly, there are whole federal departments need to be eliminated. Huge bureacracies exist that do nothing and they waste hunfpdreds of billions--you them, you hate them!--education, energy and commerce come to mind. Thirdly--and here's the tough one--unearned entitlements have to be capped. Raising taxes without cutting spending on guns and butter wont work--we are in danger of destroying our currency Weimar Republic style with the threat of hyper-inflation looming. I doubt if Bud would agree with me on this because I believe he thinks the old dismal science of economic rules no longer applies to the macro-economy.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Explore habitat of bats at special Solano-Yolo event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Train hits car, kills 1

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: | Gallery

 
Dollar Tree settles illegal dumping case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

 
Man walks to bring awareness to need for divorce reform

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘The Mask You Live In’ set for Vacaville premiere

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Woman reported missing in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: | Gallery

Caltrans reminds motorists of Highway 12 bridge work

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Thor, Iron Man, Captain America return to movie screens

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Chambers plans Cinco de Mayo celebration

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A7

 
Rio Vista to celebrate endive once again

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A7

Full slate of events on tap in downtown Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Fairfield police log: April 26, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 25, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 24, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 26, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 25, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 24, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

 
Loretta Lynch sworn in as new US attorney general

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

GOP defense budget challenges Obama on Ukraine, Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Senate expands community colleges’ reach on sexual assault

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tuna company, 2 employees charged in death of worker in oven

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woman convicted of murder after young daughter disappeared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ex-Guantanamo detainees in Uruguay protest at US Embassy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cash handoffs, extortion fuel Mediterranean trafficking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suspect in woman’s shooting arrested after 5-hour standoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
High court rejects appeal from protester at military base

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Study blames global warming for 75 percent of very hot days

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nepal quake death toll tops 4,000; villages plead for aid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Corinthian Colleges closes all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
California teen confesses to fatally stabbing 9-year-old boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

New Ellis Island center to complete US immigration story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US, Japan boost defense ties with eyes on China, NKorea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing off Alabama coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tiny California tribe turns to adoption to boost revenue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Yemen’s exiled government declares 3 disaster zones

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tuesday’s the day: Gay marriage arguments at Supreme Court

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prosecutor: 2 exams found James Holmes to be sane

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Judge won’t delay order on inmate sex reassignment surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Thousands attend funeral for Freddie Gray in Baltimore

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Opinion

Time for multiple-county tourism, arts, downtown project

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What’s Marco Rubio’s secret?

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Jayne Meadows, actress and TV personality, dies at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Winehouse family criticizes ‘misleading’ movie about singer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Singer Jamie Barton wins the ‘Heisman Trophy’ of music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Kim Kardashian: supports Bruce Jenner’s gender transition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Rushdie chastises authors protesting Hebdo tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
It’s nail-biting time on Broadway ahead of Tony nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

‘Black-ish’ creator set to write ‘Good Times’ movie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Don Mankiewicz, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, dies at 93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Salma Hayek hopes ‘The Prophet’ inspires new generations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
TVGrid April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

 
Dodgers pitcher McCarthy out for season with elbow injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks near agreement to extend lease in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head into draft in need of receiver, pass rusher

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pacquiao, Roach scheme on plan for Mayweather’s defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
A new format, more golf for all at Match Play

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Orioles’ game in Baltimore postponed due to safety concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to stay sharp while waiting for 2nd round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Kerr wins Rudy Tomjanovich Award from Pro Basketball Writers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cards ace Adam Wainwright out for season with torn Achilles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Owner Ahmed Zayat takes aim at Kentucky Derby with 3 horses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Equestrian aims for more nations competing at Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cavaliers move on without Love, out with dislocated shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Redskins to pick up 5th-year option on Robert Griffin III

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rare Honus Wagner baseball card sells for $1.32 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Arrest warrant sought for UFC champ in hit-and-run crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hamilton given back to Texas after troubled Angels stint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
89-year-old former Kansas player scores in alumni scrimmage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Arena talks underway in Seattle suburb with eye on hockey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vegas sets up ‘concentric’ security for upcoming megafight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Packers will retire Favre’s jersey on Thanksgiving

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies G Mike Conley has facial surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Peterson absent but still wanted back by Vikings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

Ex-executive gets prison for $27M insider trading scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
High court to consider lawsuits over personal data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Discover discovers Apple Pay for its US cardholders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
With economy uncertain, no Fed rate hike is seen before fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Change to Greek bailout negotiating team fuels market hopes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Burger King heats it up with spicy Whopper and sales surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Forget the watch: Apple’s iPhones are still the main event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Truckers at huge seaport complex strike; impact minimal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

ESPN suing Verizon over unbundling of its sports channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4